Giada De Laurentiis' Creamy, Veggie-Packed Pasta Is the Ultimate Spring Comfort Food
After struggling with chronic sinus infections, bloating, tiredness and more, Giada De Laurentiis adjusted her lifestyle to be more gut health-friendly. Still, the cookbook author, restaurateur and TV host is a firm believer in "everything in moderation." De Laurentiis showcases this philosophy in her new show, Simply Giada, that's inspired by her 2021 healthy eating cookbook.
"I think that is the mentality that we have: 'I'm going to go on a diet.' Most of the time, for most people, that means, 'I'm going to deprive myself of all the things that I love.' Well what happens psychologically? That's all you think about 24/7. I can't wait to have that piece of candy. I can't wait to have that plate of pasta," De Laurentiis explains on an episode of Allrecipes' Homemade Podcast.
De Laurentiis' Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Pasta, which was recently shared on her blog Giadzy's Instagram page, proves that pasta can and should still be on the menu. It's basically her moderation mindset in meal form:
"With abundant vegetables and a lemony cream sauce, this pasta strikes just the right balance between healthy and a little indulgent," De Laurentiis says.
Each serving of the easy pasta recipe contains a satisfying portion of pasta (2 ⅔ ounces) plus nearly 2 cups of vegetables (1 pound each of Brussels sprouts and mushrooms tallies up to about 10 cups of veg for 6 servings!). All of this comes packaged with 23 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber to amp up the filling factor.
One fan raves, "Made it. Delicious!" And with hearty vegetables and a creamy sauce brightened up by citrus, this is the pasta recipe we need to help us transition from winter to spring.
To make it, start by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil. Add a box of Fusilli Corti to the water—a cut which Trader Joe's recently added to their shelves—or trade in your favorite medium-style noodle. Stir and cook until al dente, or for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, transfer the noodles to a serving bowl and toss with a generous handful of grated pecorino Romano cheese. (ICYMI, here are the 4 mistakes you're probably making when cooking pasta, according to Giada De Laurentiis.)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 pound thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, 1 chopped onion, 1 pound chopped mushrooms (cremini, button or shiitake—any will do), 3 cloves of minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Stir and cook until the onions are tender; between 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of room temperature crème fraîche or mascarpone cheese, ½ cup vegetable broth, plus 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and the zest from a large lemon. Bring this creamy pasta sauce to a simmer. Within 2 minutes, stirring often, the mixture should transform into a silky, even sauce.
Season to taste, pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, and garnish with ½ cup slivered almonds and one more handful of grated pecorino Romano cheese.
Enjoy alongside a big salad and (hey, spring is less than one month away!) a scoop of Giada's 4-ingredient berry sorbet. Now that's what we call balance!